‘Desperate’ man travels 51 miles to take driving theory test in Northampton and gets caught cheating

A man who had failed his driving theory test four times travelled from Watford to Northampton to take it again, but was caught with a bluetooth device.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 5:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 11:13 am
The driving theory test centre is located in Sol House.
The driving theory test centre is located in Sol House.

Waqas Shah travelled more than 50 miles from his home in Watford to visit the Driving Theory Test Centre in Sol House in St Katherine’s Street on August 15, 2019.

The 25-year-old was instructed to leave his belongings in the locker before entering the test room.

Shah, of High Street, Watford, appeared ‘furtive’ so was observed by theory centre staff who spotted him putting a bluetooth device in his ear once inside the test room.

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Northampton Magistrates’ Court today (January 13) sentenced Shah to possession of a bluetooth device for use in the course of or in connection with a fraud, after he pleaded guilty to the offence.

Defence barrister, Ms Davis, said: “The defendant was motivated by desperation.

“He failed four times before and resorted to desperate measures when he sat the test on this occasion and he is very sorry for that.

“The defendant regrets the silly mistake he made.

“He is of previous good character and has not committed an offence since.

“This was a stupid, one-off mistake he deeply regrets and has admitted to at the first opportunity.”

Ms Davis added that Shah has since sat and failed the test three more times, but did not attempt to cheat on any of the tests.

Prosecuting on behalf of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Ms Maginn, said: “This defendant had a bluetooth device for the sole person of cheating the driving test.

“He appeared to be furtive so he was observed.

“He stated that it was a mistake that he did not lock it in the locker, but he was spotted putting the device in his ear.

“When interviewed he denied being approached by anyone and that the whole thing was a mistake.”

Ms Davies also told the Magistrates that Shah is a father-of-one who works 22 hours a week as a chef.

She said: “He has a work ethic and is not at the mercy of the benefit system.

“He had not offended before this and has not offended since.”

Sentencing Shah, Ms Smith, chair of the magistrates bench said: “As you can see we have deliberated a lot on this.

“This is a matter that crosses the custodial threshold but the early guilty plea breaks it down to high level community order.”

Ms Smith ordered Shah to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay an £85 victim surcharge and £800 towards the prosecution costs.